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Panel says gov't meddling added to Fukushima nuclear crisis

24 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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24 Comments
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The panel's right.

Kan's a dickhead and he did get in the way.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Geez... the PM of a nation (or his aides) calling to ask questions as he has the right to do is considered 'meddling'. Meanwhile Shimizu was ready to run for the hills! Now, the government IS to blame for not releasing relevant information in a timely manner, but I doubt the workers at the plant would have been any less 'confused' if there were less phone calls demanding to know what was happening.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Shuya Nomura, a member of the parliamentary panel, said that Naoto Kan’s aides made numerous calls to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, often asking basic questions and distracting workers, thus causing more confusion.

So, TEPCO, in the middle of such a large crisis, didn't have a liaison to deal with the government??? All contact went straight through to the guys working on the disaster??

Either another pack of lies to take the pressure off TEPCO to help force the rate rise, by trying to show that it's not all their fault; or it just shows how incompetently TEPCO behaved.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

If they had a disaster manual, realistic exercises, basic preparation and clear lines of communication staffed by responsible people...who have public safety rather than the companies best interests as motivation, might have gone a bit better. When things go wrong training and experience through training surprisingly do help. Be prepared.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Johninnaha - BS...Japan was lucky to have someone as decisive as Kan in charge at the time..If it wasn't for him Tepco would have abandoned Daichi , all reactors and spent fuel pools would have had a meltdown with catastrophic release of radiation and most of Kanto including Tokyo would have been totally screwed....I,m sure in such a highly stressful, explosive situation as was the case at the time and without Tepco providing adequate info to anyone Kan might have meddled and called to ask questions and such ...but just imagine if an indecisive troll like Noda was the PM on 3.11... We would have all been screwed here in Kanto.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Oh here we go with the deflecting of blame and resonsibility. TEPCO screwed up big time.Kan was in there trying his best. This just makes me feel sick to the stomach.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

They did not follow the official line of communication—through the regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency—under the country’s nuclear disaster management law

NISA was supposed to send experts to the disaster site. They did not, so they knew nothing themselves! Furthermore, manager of NISA has no education nor experience in anything even relating to radiation, and he didn't even bother to attend the disaster meetings with the prime minister!!

Perhaps the honourable panel would care to explain exactly how and to what end would they have consulted NISA?!?

While they're at it, they can explain how telling Tepco not to run away and NISA to do their jobs is considered meddling.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It doesn't matter anymore. Most people think that the disaster is over and they can go back to stabbing each other in the back and playing the fun game of politics. While that might be true for some, Japan has an invisible illness eating away at it that will kill some. Part of that illness is the radiation that will afflict people from Fukushima. The other is the one that was always present, the Amakudari/old boys club. Until you fix the problems of parliament, you will never be able to fix Japan (or even heal her(or him(or it))).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The panel is rewriting history, or they just haven't got to the part where they lay into TEPCO and NISA. I'd like the press to dig around a bit and find out exactly how impartial these people are. First, NISA has been completely discredited, and that would have become apparent VERY quickly after the disaster happened. Secondly, TEPCO wanted to keep just 10 people at the plant.

The so-called 'meddling' Prime Minister Naoto Kan insisted on more. While the government was/has been woeful, if it hadn't been for THAT action, then the panel wouldn't be sitting in Tokyo today revising history, they'd probably be in Okinawa.

And let's not even mention the disgraceful conduct of the LDP and certain DPJ members when the country was at the abyss.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kan probably saved Tokyo. Tepco and their LDP goons would have let Tokyo go nuclear. Japan was lucky a real hero who was PM then. If it had been one of the inbred PMs like Aso or Abe, Japan would be glowing now.

This panel is covering for their masters, the corrupt nuclear village, that is directly responsible for the three meltdowns.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In the long run, this kind of revisionism and back-biting is exactly why anyone with any ability and a sense of morals will never step forward to be a leader of Japan. On the other hand, it seems to foster an atmosphere where the public can't wait for a "dictator" to show decisiveness and "leadership". The members of this "panel" should hang their heads in shame and have this "criticism" of Naoto Kan understood for what it really stands for: revisionism and politics at its worst!! Of course, I wholeheartedly agree with the spot-on comments from Zucronium and Co. above!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Typical Japan, and totally infuriating. I once watched a long drawn out TV special about who was responsible for WW2. The conclusion was that it was Mr Nobody - but in a way, everybody, so ....that was it.

This panel will just conclude that many people were at fault - so there really won't be a conclusion that has any use at all, but the people who should be punished aren't at all.

But what will be the result? If what Kan did was not follow proper procedures, then no future leader will do anything decisively or outside the manual - but that's exactly what is needed many times. So the one man who was brave enough to act - Kan is the one punished.

He should come out of this looking like a hero, but instead the opposition and Ozawa/Hatoyama were attacking him in Japan's most dire hour. And now they have the audacity to go after him. So, will any young, intelligent, noble Japanese want to go into politics?

I really think Japan is finished. And it's a shame. The ones at fault are the party politicians and the people at the top making the most money. The average Japanese are great people.

So, they think Kan should have just left everything to the super competent, reliable, safety-first Tepco?? Crazy!

Would any of you as PM trust people like Shimizu next time?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If you saw a house on fire near to yours and was witness to indecision of the occupants as to what to do... QED. The government did the right thing as best they did and Kan will sit well in the future when the past is appraised.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TEPCO did have someone to provide information, Shimizu, oh, wait, he was hiding in hospital. High blood pressure, was it? I remember some old bloke living on the floor in a school gym saying bldy h#ll, everybody here's got high blood pressure! (Japan has empty ryokans and inns and deserted lodges paid for by government bribes and public pension funds all over the bldy country and they had these people sleeping on gymnasium floors! This is the third largest economy in the world?!) NISA, as noted above, was supposed to be on the site but kept its personnel quaking in fear far away. This panel is a political farce designed to deflect culpability from the current gang of bandits in charge of Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TEPCO screwed up big time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So if Mr Kan had just stayed out of it everythng would have been just fine and dandy would it? No. They would have evacuated. Mr Kan was made to look heavy handed because he was resisting obscufation and evasion on the part of TEPCO. And now he's getting stick because he is decidedly anti nuke and these guys want to get back online a fast as.

I only wish that Mr Kan had been tougher. He should have sent in the army and kept TEPCO execs under house arrest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“They asked questions that were often inappropriate and very basic,

That's the problem. Kan was totally ignorant and unable to judge what question to ask. That could happen to any political leader. There is no nuclear accident every week. But it appears, from all these debriefings, that he wanted to do it all by himself without calling any knowlegeable person, his aides were all as clueless as himself, and those that knew well were on TV, saying :" Well, Kan has not called us yet... and we have not been given more information that the NHK news". Since I've learned he has waited weeks, not hours, but weeks, before consulting the radiation levels that were systematically monitored, my respect for him can't go lower. That just confirms it.

I only wish that Mr Kan had been tougher. He should have sent in the army and kept TEPCO execs under house arrest.

Yes. He was losing time hitting the wrong target. My first thought when I heard "Tepco" on 3/11 was : "Replace the head office, don't let them in charge, call nuclear experts from other companies/organisations.". I remembered how they had (not) reacted with the other plant on Japan Sea.

causing more work in addition to the operation at the site,” he said.

If that part is true, my dear, is the fault of the guys in the plant. They should have just not answered the noob questions. They knew that no technical expertise was coming from Kan's office.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The panel should focus on what really happened. Pre and post tsunami. So far and as the little we know Kan did his job. And he was the only one doing it. Could have been better, could have been worse. Nobody in the general public knows. Hopefully it will come one day and accountable people will be judged accordingly. I am tired to be called an harmfull rumor spreading guy. This situation is crap..... from day one. But Kan kept us "safe" in Tokyo even though he downplayed everything until stepping down. Now he has admitted the seriousness of the issue, and believe me, he knows much more about it than we do!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

IMO the only value of this report is that it highlights how completely inadequate crisis management is in Japan, and how this comedy of errors almost caused a complete disaster. As it is, folks in Japan will be paying the price for this complete breakdown in leadership -- among the politicos, the bureaucrats and at TEPCO -- for decades.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Getting the government involved seldon makes things better. The Gipper had it right with his witty decription of the scariest 11 qoeds in the English language.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We don't need this.

TEPCO who has immediate responsibility screwed up Kan and his aides also screwed up with no contingency plan

We don't need the LDP involved now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Former PM Kan is no different than all of the governments and mass media that are involved in covering up that of which they have no control. Dr. Hellen Caldicot and Arnie Gunderson, two of the worlds authorities on nuclear issues are deeply worried about these reactors and suggest moving to the southern hemisphere before the imminent collapse of reactors at Fukushima..We must ask all of the greatest minds on earth to at least make a genuine effort to solve this unprecedented event that will take place. It's not a question of IF it's a question of when. I have personally contacted some of the worlds smartest people and begged them to please help.. God bless you all, God bless my children and my loving wife... We appreciate everything!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I call BS on Tepco's part, the government was not getting ANY answers from anyone, infact Tepco didn't even tell the government the plants blew up until 1 hour AFTER they did and even when they were being shown on TV as blowing up.

Also shows the Fukushima 50 was complete BS from the press, if 700 really stayed and Tepco was only going to keep 10, I call BS on the press' part in order to make a tearjerker story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kan saved Tokyo and alot of lives, this story reaks of the blame the person that was already fired.

Notice how nicely "the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency" is worded in this? Propoganda so that "the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency" aka "the nuclear promotion company" doesn't look bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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